What Is a Smart City?

By February 15, 2017August 27th, 2018Blog, Featured

Brian Tinsman
Digital Properties Manager


Loudoun County has some of the most highly educated residents in the nation. In addition to having a smart population, Loudoun may soon have one of the first “smart cities” in America.

The Gramercy District development being planned for Ashburn, Virginia will look like similar mixed-use developments, tailored to busy young professionals and located next to Metrorail’s Ashburn Station on the Silver Line. But that’s just the beginning.

It’s being billed as a prototype and has the backing of some of the biggest names in technology, infrastructure and logistics, including Microsoft, Avaya, Gravy Analytics, CIT, and George Washington University.

The idea is to have technology capability baked into every aspect of life in the smart city. Making urban living more efficient is an area where Loudoun County could become a leader.

The visionary behind the Gramercy District development, Minh Le, shared some concepts with the Washington Business Journal that help define what exactly a smart city could look and feel like as a resident:

  • A live, work, play and learn haven, living space will be small with expansive communal spaces;
  • Secure, individualized Wi-Fi signals will travel with the individual to fuel all of their connected devices;
  • Retailers will have access to residents’ buying preferences, bringing geo-located and automated retail to the next level;
  • With so much shared space and smart appliances, energy efficiency will be baked in;
  • All commerce could be managed from one app, including paychecks, rent and retail;
  • Intuitive technology can order and pay for the food, before residents leave home or work.

Businesses considering locating in the Gramercy District can look for these advantages:

  • Defined, build-to-suit office space, with a secure Wi-Fi network available anywhere in the development;
  • Access to the latest technology and an opportunity to opt into the applications, tech training, etc.;
  • Access to group purchasing in order to reduce costs for retailers;
  • Access for retailers into the customer data and analytics generated by residents.

There are still many steps to go before Le’s dream can become a reality, but he and his partners are moving forward.

“We are linking technology and a premier location together to drive economic development,” Le told the Washington Business Journal.

For more information on Gramercy District and Loudoun County’s other major developments, please see our Major Developments page, or call us at 1-800-LOUDOUN.